GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Dallas Mavericks 25 23 26 25 99
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 29 17 20 25 91

Team Highlights: Nash's First Basket | Assist of the Night | Dwight's First Bucket | Jamison to Hill

Postgame Interviews: Dwight Howard | Steve Nash | Mike Brown

Basketblog: Postgame Numbers

Additional Stats: Opening Night Infographic

Dallas stuns loaded Lakers in opener, 99-91


Posted Oct 31 2012 1:27AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Darren Collison scored 17 points, Brandan Wright added 14, and the Dallas Mavericks spoiled the Lakers debuts of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash with a 99-91 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

O.J. Mayo had 12 points as the revamped Mavericks pulled off a stunner in their opener, comfortably beating the star-studded Lakers without any help from injured Dirk Nowitzki.

Kobe Bryant scored 22 points while playing on an injured right foot, but the Lakers opened a season of enormous expectations with a major dud of a performance.

Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds while missing 11 of his 14 free throws before fouling out with 2:02 to play. Nash managed just seven points and four assists with seemingly little to do in the Lakers' new offensive scheme.

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View More Infographics

Points Gasol, 23
Rebounds Gasol, 13
Assists Blake/Gasol, 6
Steals World Peace (LAL) and Collison (Mavericks), 3
Blocks Gasol (LAL) and Wright (Mavericks), 3


Mike Brown:

On overall team performance:
“I thought early on we did a great job moving the basketball and trying to execute and get great looks at the rim in the first half. I thought there was stretch at the beginning, after our second unit went on a little run, I thought we started to falter half-way through the second quarter offensively. The ball came to a standstill and the ball stopped. We didn’t move bodies and all that stuff like we did early on and our guys started thinking a little too much and our execution wasn’t quite there like it was to start the game.”

On the team’s defensive effort:
“The thing that I’m disappointed in is that I thought defensively we didn’t give the multiple effort that we needed to give, especially guarding the pick-and-roll. I thought our effort trying to guard the pick-and-roll was not good. When we did give an effort in the half court, whether it was in the pick and roll or in an action they were doing we gave the one effort, and then we didn’t give a second effort. That’s what we’re going to have to do. We’re going to have to defend with multiple effort until our offense catches up with our defense."

On the team’s free throw shooting:
“Obviously we’re going to have to knock free throws down. Whether it’s a tight ballgame or not a tight ball game, 38% [free throw shooting] as a team is tough. We’ll make shots from the free throw line I’m confident in that. It’s just one of those nights that we didn’t. We’ll keep shooting them in practice like we have done, but at the end of the day we’re going to have to defend better."

On the play of Dwight Howard:
“His reaction at times is still a little off. He’s a half a count late a lot of time defensively. He’s still getting a feel for what we’re trying to do offensively, just like everybody else, but I thought defensively and rebounding wise his timing was off a little bit.”

On the play of Steve Nash:
“I thought Nash did a fairly good job of trying to get us into our stuff and execute, but it’s going to take him a little time. Steve [Nash] has the ability to do Steve [Nash]. I mean every time down the floor, in the early offense, he has the ability to play pick-and-roll with Dwight [Howard]. He can do that whenever he wants or he can get us into our offense.”

Robert Sacre:

On cutting down on turnovers
“We need to focus and dial in on what we need to do and just keep getting better. I think we are doing that, even though it doesn’t show in the final score, but we are learning to play with each other and obviously we haven’t got everybody back healthy. So once we start getting everybody back in the right rotation, I think we will be just fine.”

On improving his game
“I just have to work on shortening the bad things. You’re going to have good experiences and you’re going to have terrible experiences, I just have to limit my mistakes and keep getting better and learn from them.”

Kobe Bryant:

On seeing the bigger picture instead of one game:
“We just continue working on things and continue to get better and continue to plan to win.”

On addressing tomorrow’s game:
“Focus on what’s important and on what they do. Just go out there and execute.”

On game-by-game improvement:
“I think that should be any team’s goal really, just try to get better everyday. I mean for us that’s certainly our motto."

On status of foot during game:
“I played today about 80-85%.”

On concerns of back to back games with his foot:
“A little bit. We just have to see how it feels.”

Pau Gasol:

On energy from the bench:
“It’s hard to say, the sooner the better, but you know it’s not going to happen right away. But we have to just stay with it, put in conscious effort every game, every day, every play to get better.”

On how long the team will take to come together:
“I don’t worry about anyone but us. We’re trying to manage the minutes the right way with a back-to-back coming up. We had a lot of guys out and so did they, so I didn’t put a lot of stock in the outcome of this game. I was able to give some guys that don’t get as many minutes some quality playing time as well.”

On pinpointing when the team will play well together:
“Sometimes I think it’s just that we get a little too frustrated, that defensively things don’t look as good or we don’t get, we’re not very sharp right now, so that’s effecting that and carrying over to the defensive end I think and it’s something that can’t be allowed to happen. So if we’re able to look passed that and just be solid defensively and be patient with the offense.”

Steve Nash:

On tonight's performance:
“Obviously it was a disappointment for us. We have high expectations and tonight we didn’t play well, so regardless of what it was tonight, it wasn’t good enough. We started out well enough we had a pretty good stretch there in the second quarter too. And then after they got back they jumped on us in the second half so like we said in camp we got a ways to go.

On if preseason reflective of performance:
“I think we got a lot of work to do offensively but tonight, defensively we weren’t good. We gave up a lot of rebounds, we gave up a lot of looks around the basket. That’s gotta become a staple for us is to control the paint.”

Dwight Howard:

On not winning:
“Well, very anxious out there, happy to get out there and play. It’s a tough loss but there’s a lot of good things I saw out there from offensive standpoint. Looking a little bit better on defensive end, mostly get our timing and everything down. First game out of the way and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

On good things he saw:
“When we execute the right way, we get an easy shot, we just gotta really get into the offense and trusting and learning. It’s going to take a while, but I think that part will be fine. Just have the defense and our energy level has to pick up, but it will come with time. So we can’t get frustrated, it’s the first game.”

Rick Carlisle:

On the game:
“We kept the tempo going, we were efficient with the ball, and we rebounded. Those three things really carried the game for us. It’s a great win. If you execute in this league and have talent, you have a chance to win and we did that. We were opportunistic tonight and got the job done.”

On Rodrigue Beaubois:
“He might have been the key guy in the game. He went in and kept the tempo going and then he made timely offensive and defensive plays. Tonight I thought he showed what he’s capable of doing at the point guard spot within our system. And he and Daren, they are going to cause problems for teams with their speed and their tenacity.”

On going against the Laker’s front line:
“It was going to have to be a collective effort against a front line like this. We were really persistent. Everyone had each other’s backs, and we played it out.”

Elton Brand:

On rebounding against the Lakers’ frontcourt:
“The coaching staff really harped on it; gang rebounding and boxing out. Three offensive rebounds at halftime against that length, we were really proud of that. So we really wanted to gang rebound tonight that was our goal.”

On the defense:
“Dirk is out, Kaman is out, were going to have to be scrappy we’re going to have to fight, and push the tempo. That’s going to be the key ingredient to success if we’re going to have it.”

Shawn Marion:

On low expectations for the team:
“Everybody makes expectations every year about teams, but nobody knows anything until the end of the year. A lot of people are proven wrong, so we’re going to take it one day at a time one game at a time, and that’s how I live.”

On playing without Dirk and without Kaman:
“Effort and energy, it’s amazing what happens when you go out there and play hard and compete.”

Darren Collison:

On his quickness:
“That’s what I was brought here for, my speed and quickness. I try to get into the paint as much as I can.”

On the scrappy nature of the team:
“Rick’s been saying it since the first day of practice. If we’re going to beat teams we have to be a scrappy team, and I thought we showed that. I thought me and Roddy did a good job playing up-tempo on defense just trying to pressure them, OJ did a good job on defense too. And our bigs, they played tough down there. We’re not the biggest team but it’s not about how big you are it’s about how hard you play and how much heart you have.”

Lakers - Mavericks Preview


Disappointing playoff outcomes led the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks to retool their rosters in hopes of again rising to the top of the Western Conference.

Each team, though, surrounded its long-standing - yet ailing - superstar in different manners. Kobe Bryant's status is up in the air and Dirk Nowitzki won't play as these new-look squads open their seasons Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

The Lakers were bounced in five games in the second round of last season's playoffs by Oklahoma City, the eventual West champion that swept Dallas out of the postseason the previous round.

Bryant averaged 27.9 points in the regular season for the Lakers (41-25) - finishing one-tenth of a point behind scoring leader Kevin Durant - but he was critical of teammate Pau Gasol in the postseason and seemed to have the desire for more help.

General manager Mitch Kupchak made a pair of big offseason acquisitions, getting two-time MVP Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix before parting with Andrew Bynum - among others - in a blockbuster four-team trade to land Dwight Howard.

With Bryant, Gasol, Nash, Howard and Metta World Peace, the Lakers seemingly have one of the most formidable starting lineups in the NBA supported by a bench that includes acquisitions Chris Duhon and Antawn Jamison.

"Everybody on the starting five has led their own team and been the go-to guy, the best player on a team," World Peace said. "We've all been the man somewhere else, and now we're together. It's unbelievable. They're all rock stars, but everybody has a great attitude. It's a great time, great time for us."

Howard is recovering from offseason back surgery but is expected to play Tuesday, while Bryant's status is unclear after missing the final preseason game with a bruised and strained right foot.

"I know he's hurt and I don't know what exactly that means," coach Mike Brown said. "He's a tough guy and one of the toughest guys I've ever been around."

Bryant also is aware Los Angeles must develop some chemistry before being labeled as a serious contender, evidenced by the club's 0-8 preseason record. No team has ever reached the NBA finals after a winless preseason.

"We're going to be a really good team, but we've got a lot of work in front of us right now," Bryant said. "We're not close to a finished product, and the teams that we want to compete with have all had their main groups together longer.

"We've got to keep improving every day, every week, and learning how to play together." Dallas may have a more difficult time adjusting with its eight newcomers, especially with Nowitzki missing at least the first 10 games after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

The Mavericks (36-30) courted Dallas native Deron Williams in the offseason and may also have inquired about Howard, who reportedly listed the Mavericks as one of his preferred destinations during his saga with Orlando.

Dallas, though, struck out on each and opted to acquire a multitude of players, including Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones and Eddy Curry.

"We had some big fish available and we didn't get them. So you can do either of two things - blow the whole thing up and start over, or keep signing guys to short contracts to stay a player in the free agent market the following year," Nowitzki said. "For basically saying we still want to be a player next summer, we still put a decent product out there. We're going to compete and see what happens."

The start of the new season likely won't be easy, though, as Dallas also will have to contend with injuries other than Nowitzki's. Kaman is nursing a strained right calf and probably won't play in at least the opener, likely forcing Curry - who has played 24 games over the last four years - into a starting role.

The Mavericks waived point guard Delonte West on Monday after he was suspended twice in less than two weeks for conduct detrimental to the team, and Jason Terry also bolted for Boston in free agency.

"This is what we got. That's the way it is," forward Shawn Marion said. "We can't harp on it all day. We'll do what we gotta do."

The Lakers won all four meetings with the Mavericks last season.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

Lakers Kobe Bryant
(strained & bruised right foot) is day-to-day.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disc) is probable.


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